Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Wheat Berry and Feta Salad



Here is a delicious and healthy salad you might consider for your July 4th festivities, whether you are entertaining or being entertained and would like to bring something to share. I made a few changes to the original recipe based on what I had on hand and added a few extra herbs for flavor. I can't believe the original recipe is from 1993.  I didn't even know what a wheat berry was then!  Kudos to Gourmet for being at the forefront of a culinary trend that now includes many varieties of healthy whole grains.

Not only do they taste great, wheat berries are high in fiber and vitamins also. If you've never had wheat berries. they are a wonderfully crunchy/chewy and nutty grain that is boiled first in salted water for about 1 hour.  Some recipes say to soak them for faster cooking but I haven't found that necessary.  1/2 cup of dried wheat berries will yield about 1 cup of cooked wheat berries.


This summery salad is a wonderful way to use your garden herbs and cherry tomatoes if you grow them or buy them fresh at the farmers' market.  We enjoyed the salad on a bed of greens but the salad is delicious on its own as a side to any grilled meat at a BBQ or picnic. Lots of flavors and textures! This salad is very adaptable so add what you like. 


This year, in addition to many herbs, I am experimenting with even more vegetables in containers on my patio, such as bush cucumbers, 'Little Finger' eggplant and two varieties of squash, plus a few varieties of tomatoes. 

I hope you all enjoy a safe and happy Fourth of July if you are celebrating!  Here is a little Red, White and Blue for you from my garden...


Wheat Berry and Feta Salad

Adapted from Gourmet/Epicurious
Printable Recipe

Yield: Serves 6

2 cups cooked wheat, spelt, or rye berries (I used Bob's Red Mill Brand)
1 cup diced Feta cheese (I like Feta in water or good, dry Greek Feta)
1/4 cup thinly sliced scallions
1/2 cup diced seedless cucumber
1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
1/3 cup mixed minced fresh herbs such as parsley, mint, basil, oregano
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered

I also used about a cup of crisp-tender cooked green beans, cut into pieces

Fresh greens for serving (optional)

Dressing Ingredients:

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (about 1 whole lemon)
1 tablespoon red-wine vinegar
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 garlic clove, minced
Red pepper flakes to taste, about 1/4-1/2 teaspoon
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and Pepper, to taste

First, cook the wheat berries in a saucepan of boiling, salted water for about 1 hour, or until they are tender but still slightly crunchy. (See package directions). Drain and set aside to cool.

Prepare the dressing by placing everything except the olive oil in a small bowl.  Slowing whisk in the olive oil to emulsify and adjust seasonings to taste. 

In a large bowl, stir together the wheat berries, Feta, onion, cucumber, red pepper, tomatoes and minced herb.  Toss with the dressing until coated and taste.  Add more dressing if desired.  

58 comments:

  1. Nice crunch in your salad with the cucumber and red bell pepper and of course I love the health component wheat berries. Your garden is so pretty - happy Independence Day to you too.
    Sam

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  2. What beautiful and crunch salad!

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  3. Looks delicious! (I've never heard of wheat berry...where would I be likely to find it?)

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    1. My regular grocery store carries them in bags under the name Bobs Red Mill. Look in the cereal aisle.

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  4. I wish I had the sunshine I need to have a container garden on my patio. Look at all that beauty. The salad looks good too:-)

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    1. Thanks, Val :) There is nothing more satisfying than a few pots of herbs or veggies.

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  5. I am enjoying container plants to..They just feel so right:) Like small individual children to tend to and care for♥
    Never had a wheatberry yet I had heard of them..this looks so delicious..
    Have to try.
    Have a great Independance day!

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    1. Thank you, M. I have more containers than ever this year. I love them!

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  6. Looks and sounds yummy! I would probably use feta cheese crumbles instead of cubes, but that is just me.
    Have an enjoyable and safe holiday weekend!!

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    1. Thank you, Glenda :) Whatever you like works for this salad.

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  7. Sounds like a hearty and very healthy salad Susan! Lovin' your parade of planters and keep us posted on how well the eggplant do! Happy 4th of July-enjoy:@)

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    1. I will - a new venture this year :) Happy 4th to you too!

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  8. wow looks divine plan to make it soon

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  9. Love all your plants in pots, I've been having a big problem this year in my garden, thinking about switching over to container gardening as the wretched pests seem to be smarter than I. Now this recipe is wonderful, love the crunch and fresh herbs.

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    1. Thank you, Cheri! I was having some critter issues also. I think the containers really help and they make really big ones for the tomato plants :)

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  10. Omg!! I'm making this weekend for the 4 of July!! Your garden is beautiful. I bought my Mom some purple basil, lemon thyme and Rosemary.

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    1. Great! I hope you enjoy it Kimberly! I love growing herbs in the summer and I'm sure your mother with share with you :)

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  11. Love your beautiful and productive garden..I wish my tomato plants are as healthy as yours! The salad looks terrific!

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    1. Thank you, Angie! I hope the stay healthy with all of the rain we've been having.

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  12. I could very much imagine eating this and enjoying immensely!
    Beautiful garden too...

    ela h.
    Gray Apron

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  13. This salad has a great mix of textures, it looks delicious :D
    And very refreshing as well!

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

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  14. I love having a repertoire of salads for summer and this fits in well. I actually have wheat berries in the pantry as I use them in soups. I also have a salad recipe from Ina but your's sounds a bit more flavorful. We have containers of herbs but haven't tried other vegetables. I'll be interested to know about your harvest. Have a deliciously good 4th!

    Best,
    Bonnie

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    1. I was surprised at how many wheat berry salad recipes there are out there! Hope you enjoy this, Bonnie. Happy 4th to you!

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  15. I have a TON of CSA veggies to use up so I can't wait to make this!! Sounds like my kind of salad in a BIG kind of way!

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    1. Thank you, Joanne. I think you could add so many different things to this salad :)

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  16. Well, I have just learned that after I type the comment and select google account - my comment gets deleted and then my name appears in the google account slot, and I get to retype it. You used to have a different comment place where my website could be linked to - but I no longer have that choice... HOWEVER, back to my comment. I always have wheat on hand as I mill it almost daily in my Thermomix to make bread, though it has been years since I have soaked and cooked any for a meal. I love the chewy texture and hearty earthy flavour of wheat. Getting some in a bowl now - this looks scrumptious! :)
    Valerie

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    1. Wow, I'm sorry, Valerie. I haven't changed anything so I don't know what's up with the comments. It would be wonderful ground for bread!

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  17. The same thing just happened to my comment - it disappeared! Anyway - love the flavor combination of this salad - your container garden is gorgeous and the flowers amazing! Happy 4th of July!

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    1. Thank you and I'm so sorry, Tricia! I wonder if Blogger is having issues again? Happy 4th to you!

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  18. Your salad looks great, and so do all your plants. You obviously have a green thumb. The photos are really beautiful too.

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    1. Thank you, Linda. I do get so much enjoyment from watching things grow :)

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  19. Susan, your salad is about as colorful as 4th of July fireworks!


    I've only ( successfully) grown herbs and cherry tomatoes in containers, not much else. But I ain't no quitter :)

    Happy Independence Day!

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    1. I knew you wouldn't be a quitter ;) Thank you very much, Sol, and Happy 4th to you and your family!

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  21. Wow! Susan that looks very mouth watering and a very nice well done. :-) <3 :-)..p. S. And I like your flowers too :-)

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  22. Beautiful salad!!! You always have the most creative recipe! Hope you'll post the results of your container gardening. I haven't had great luck so anxious to see how you do. I am sure it has a lot to do with the varieties. Wishing you and your family a happy and safe fourth!!

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    1. Thanks, Julie! I will try to remember to do an update later in the summer :) Hope you're enjoying a wonderful 4th also!

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  23. This is really beautiful! lovely lovely flavors and ingredients!
    Mary

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  24. I love wheat berries. I believe I have a couple recipes on my blog using them. My favorite is a salad but yours sounds delightful as well. I cook mine now after soaking for a time, in my rice cooker. They turn out perfect every time and there's no need to watch the pot. Try that sometime it's so much easier. Thanks for sharing this.

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  25. It looks and sounds delicious! Your herbs and flowers look wonderful! Happy 4th!

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  26. Such a lovely salad, and it looks good! I have some wheat berries in my pantry, used it for bread-making. Love it that you have used it in salads!
    Your herb plants are looking great!

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  27. Your salad looks delicious, love feta! We always eat a lot of salads this time of year with all the fresh greens, tomatoes, corn, etc..

    I made it one year on my blog, hard to believe it's been a year! I hope yall had a great 4th weekend!
    Michael
    http://michaelswoodcraft.wordpress.com/2014/07/03/happy-anniversary/

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  28. Your salad looks tasty, you have a lovely garden, lucky! You have a green thumb, a natural talent for growing plants ! pretty photos Susan, a hug

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  29. OMG this looks amazing, all those colors and textures!

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  30. WOW Sue, your container garden looks amazing!! Yummy salad, we just love the added feta in there too. And your flowers are gorgeous! Hope you had a great week!

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  31. This looks so delicious! I love healthy salads! I just made tabbouleh salad, and this is next in my list! Thank you for sharing!

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  32. That's amazing looking, Susan! Those colors, that dish, the flowers....all add up to a fabulous lunch! Love wheatberries in a salad; really should use them more often.

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  33. What a nice salad for summer. I enjoyed your photos from your container garden, everything looks so healthy. I'm going to be picking my first cherry tomatoes in a couple of days.

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  34. What a lovely salad, loaded with summer flavors and wonderful fresh herbs.
    Healthy, light and tasty- couldn't wish for more:)
    The flowers in your garden are beautiful Susan!

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  35. Looks absolutely delicious and colorful!! :) We use a lot of Blue Cheese since we have a local source that makes it on their farm!! Your container plants look great and healthy!

    Been on vacation, playing catch up, missed a lot of your post!

    I made 1 year on my blog, time sure does pass quickly. Give away a cutting board.
    http://michaelswoodcraft.wordpress.com/2014/07/03/happy-anniversary/

    Michael :)



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  36. Just wow!! All of my favourite things combined into one genius style dish..I need to pin this! Feta...<3

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